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It all starts with a drawing: Each trace of Ethan’s crayon becomes an arm, then another arm, next a head. This is the first step of a creative process called “Puzzle Monsters,” a favorite activity in Ethan’s home. After the drawing is finished, Ethan’s dad transfers the picture to colored art foam and cuts out the individual pieces. They then glue all the pieces together, like a puzzle. Ethan has named each of his Puzzle Monsters and given each of them special powers.
Before Budsies, this was the closest Ethan could come to seeing his creations come to life. And his grandmother didn’t think it was enough.
The creation of this custom gift was a family effort. After months of watching Ethan’s eyes light up with joy when his drawings became Puzzle Monsters, Ethan’s grandmother stumbled upon the Budsies website and immediately knew that she had to order one for him. His birthday had passed and Christmas was months away, so she got it as a surprise.
Since Ethan lives in Plano, Texas and his grandmother Danita lives in Walla Walla, Washington, Ethan waited to open his present until he could use Facetime to let her see his reaction. “It was priceless!” chuckled Danita, fondly remembering the moment. “He immediately knew who Fireball was, and laughed and smiled and started telling everyone who he was and that he made him.”
The night Ethan received Fireball, he brought the blanket that he slept with since he was born to his mom. He told her that he didn’t need it anymore since Fireball could sleep with him now. A newfound constant in his life, Fireball has been inseparable from Ethan ever since.
His guardian, confidante, and best friend, Fireball watches over Ethan through his round felt eyes, ready to protect him with his special powers. According to Ethan, Fireball can shoot fire out of his hands and set things on fire just by thinking about them – all he has to do is look at something, and it will set on fire. He also likes to read and sing.